Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Today was so much better than the day before. The headwind still blew but nowhere near as hard. My fears of a nightmarish slog through Turkmenistan receded a little.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


It was with regret that I left Mohammad's house. He'd been a perfect host, making me feel welcome & comfortable in his home & helping me to get a bunch of things done that I couldn't have done myself.

Monday, May 29, 2006


I was getting pretty comfortable in Mashhad. The food was absolutely great & it was really nice to hang out with someone.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Yet more rest. I had my bike given a good service & had my camera cleaned.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Today was a total rest day. I relaxed with Mohammad, my host & ate lots of excellent food made by his mother.


I awoke to clear blue skies at 8am, the latest I'd slept for a long time. We were in a lovely valley with steep vertical walls going up a couple of hundred meters.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Near Mashhad

I had one objective for today, get to Mashhad without becoming part of the awful Iranian road toll statistics.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Near Robat Sang

I still felt a little off this morning. Moreover I wasn't feeling enthusiastic about cycling.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


This morning I had intended to get going early. Instead I only left at a little after 8am after having a bad tempered argument with the hotel manager over the bill.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I had a bad night due to the stomach bug. I hadn't been able to eat anything the night before & didn't feel like anything in the morning.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Near Bagestan

I must have picked up a stomach bug. In the morning when I arrived in Ferdows I went to get a sandwich. I could hardly stand the smell of the food frying in the shop.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

25km South of Ferdows

It was a head down & make up time day. I was getting sick of the desert & the lack of greenery.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Between Tabas & Deyhuk

I set off from Kharavan with high hopes, & against the opinions of the villagers, that I'd be able to pass the mountain range via the road on my map. Unfortunately they were right & the map was wrong, the road ended about 10km later.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


To the North of Tabas there was a range of mountains. The highways in the direction of Mashhad went around this range. My map showed a wiggly white road that went through the range. The colour of the road indicated that it wasn't asphalted. This was my kind of road.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Near Tabas

I keep getting up earlier & earlier. This morning I awoke at 4:45 as the sky was getting light. I generously gave myself a lie-in of 15 minutes before my alarm went off.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Near Robat-e Posht-e Badam

In the morning, along the way to Kharanaq I noticed a couple more tight clusters of greenery, like the one that hosted me during the night. I wondered whether finding water in the desert might be easier than I had thought earlier.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Near Kharanaq

I'd had enough of Yazd, being in a city & sleeping in a building. Even so I lingered to fill myself up at the generous breakfast buffet & chat with fellow guests.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The day started as indulgently as the previous one, over long breakfast. I justified this on the grounds that I need to make up the weight lost earlier in the trip.

Friday, May 12, 2006


In the morning the hotel served up a super breakfast, a buffet with all sorts of yummy things, yoghurt, nice bread & great scrambled egg. The only thing that was missing was bacon, for that I have some time to wait. I certainly got my money's worth, not leaving the table for over an hour.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Another totally clear desert morning dawned. The view was superb, the heat haze of the previous afternoon was absent & the jagged brown mountains were clearly visible. There was no sign of civilisation aside from our tents & the road.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Near Qal'eh Khargushi

The morning was absolutely cloudless. After breaking camp we followed the asphalt to Varzaneh where we filled up with water & found a very minor unpaved road through the desert to Yazd.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


After 4 days off the bike it felt good to be moving under my own steam again. It was quite warm in Esfahan already at 6am. I wondered what it would be like closer to the desert.

Monday, May 8, 2006


At some time after midnight the bus stopped beside the highway. I was too dozy to take this anything but a good thing, an immobile bus was easier to sleep in. Unfortunately the bus had stopped because it had broken down. It wasn't fixable.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Night bus to Esfahan & Shiraz bus terminal

The night bus dropped a dazed me off in Shiraz at 6am. The walk into town woke me up. Along the way I ate some delicious fresh warm flatbread from a street-side bakery.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Night bus to Shiraz

In the morning I set myself the task of renewing my Iranian visa. The guidebook had said that Esfahan was the best place in Iran to do this.

Friday, May 5, 2006


What a horrid night's sleep I had. I stayed in a full dorm room at a hostel. Esfahan in May is like Amsterdam in the middle of summer. The dorm's ventilation was a window onto a busy street. There was no question of closing it even though it was so noisy.

Thursday, May 4, 2006


After some late showers the previous night I was surprised to find a clear sky & everything dry in the morning. It soon got quite warm, more so for quite a while. Under the Sun the land around looked more like a desert, the rocky hills brown & the red brown earth between the road & hills sparsely covered in low dry thorny vegetation.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Near Ahmatabad

An overcast day dawned, not cold but with a hint of the possibility of rain. The clouds remained so for the rest of the day, it rained a bit but was never cold even above 2200m.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Near Hasanabad

The dry hill theme continued & began to bore me. That which I could cope with much more was the fantastic tail wind.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Near Komeyjan

It was interesting staying with Somayeh & Mehdi. They were a lovely couple. However the jitterbug in me regretted the time in the previous afternoon & the morning not moving.